UAE citizens will be able to visit Canada without entry visas from 5th June 2018.
The announcement came during a meeting between H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Canada's Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen, in Ottawa.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed praised the decision, adding that this move affirms the distinguished ties between the UAE and Canada.
Ahmed Hussen said, "The UAE is a key strategic partner and lifting the visa requirement will help reaffirm the strong relationship between our two countries. It will also promote increased tourism, cultural, academic and study exchanges, as well as foster new business, trade, and investment opportunities."
This decision is based on a comprehensive and rigorous evaluation of the UAE over Canada's visa policy criteria. The evaluation found that the UAE meets Canada's criteria for a visa exemption.
Emirati citizens will no longer need a visa as of 5:30 am ET (1:30 pm Gulf Standard Time) on 5th June, 2018, to travel to Canada for short stays (normally for up to six months) for business, to visit family and friends or for tourism.
However, Emirati citizens, similar to other visa-exempt travellers, will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to, or transit through a Canadian airport. The eTA allows Canadian officials to screen travellers for admissibility before they board their flight to Canada. Emiratis will be able to apply online for an eTA after 5:30 am ET (1:30 p.m. Gulf Standard Time) on 5th June.
In the meantime, they can continue to apply online for a visitor visa, or use the services of one of the visa application centres (VACs), including the VAC in Abu Dhabi or Dubai.
Around 40,000 Canadians live and work in the UAE, with some 150 Canadian companies operating in the country.
Dr. Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Cabinet Member and Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills, Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs, and Fahad Saeed Al Raqbani, UAE Ambassador Extraordinaire to Canada, were also present during the meeting.